After eight months of development, design and construction, the Nissan ZEOD RC electric race car has been unveiled at the headquarters of the Japanese auto major’s performance arm, Nismo, in Yokohama, Saleh Al Hamad Al Mana Company announced in Doha yesterday.
The Zero Emissions on Demand racer has gone from zero to ZEOD in 33 weeks after Nissan chairman and CEO Carlos Ghosn in February announced Nissan’s goal of returning to the Le Mans 24 Hours next year with electric power.
The ZEOD RC will race next year at Le Mans after being invited by the Automobile Club de l’Ouest to occupy the “Garage 56” entry for vehicles showcasing new and innovative technology.
Nissan is using the ZEOD RC as a test bed to develop new electric vehicle technologies for Nissan’s planned future LM P1 programme.
The initial prototype show car of the revolutionary electric racer was revealed at this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, but the unveiling at the Nismo headquarters showcased the dramatic evolution of the design featuring revamped styling, new cooling inlets and aerodynamic updates.
The Nissan ZEOD RC was unveiled by Nismo president Shoichi Miyatani, Nissan Global Motorsport director Darren Cox and Nissan director of Motorsport Innovation Ben Bowlby.
“The ZEOD RC utilises our technology gained through the development of the Nissan LEAF Nismo RC, the first EV racer based on the mass production zero emission vehicle,” Miyatani said.
“The LEAF RC’s energy management and efficient energy recovery system that is suitable for racing are just examples. We believe these technologies serve as important steps for using EV for motorsports.”
The Nissan ZEOD RC will become the first car to complete an entire race lap of the 8.5-mile Le Mans circuit on nothing but electric power. The car will reach speeds in excess of 300km/h and lap the famous French circuit faster than an LM GTE car. The driver will be able to switch between electric power and a small lightweight turbocharged internal combustion engine. The car – which shares the same battery technology as the Nissan LEAF – will recharge the battery via regenerative braking.
Fans will get the chance to take a close look at the Nissan ZEOD RC in the Fuji paddock throughout the course of the FIA World Endurance Championship weekend.
Nissan is renowned as a global leader in electric vehicles for the road – selling more than 80,000 Nissan LEAF since the start of sales in late 2010. The Nissan ZEOD RC is the first step in taking the lead in bringing electric vehicles to the racetrack.
Fans at Fuji Speedway this weekend will also see Nissan power in action in the LM P2 class of the FIA World Endurance Championship.
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